Sunday, June 25, 2017

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Sniper Training Hits the Mark

Sniper Training Hits the Mark

Sniper Training Hits the Mark, Metamora Herald
Spc. Johnny Newsome of Chicago, a sniper with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 178th Infantry Regiment based in Chicago, shoots during a stress shoot during the 10-day sniper training course at eXportable Combat Training Capability 17-02 at Fort, McCoy, Wisconsin, June 4-24. The course, the first of its magnitude, is designed to get all of the brigade snipers together to train, broaden their horizons and share tactics, techniques and procedures, better preparing them for missions as snipers. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Bryan Spreitzer, Illinois National Guard Public Affairs)

FORT MCCOY, WISCONSIN (06/23/2017) (readMedia)-- U.S. Army snipers in the National Guard are highly trained assets that are often overlooked during large scale training events such as the National Guard's eXportable Combat Training Capability.
Staff Sgt. Joe Bastian, a sniper observer/controller/trainer with First Army's 1st Battalion, 335th Infantry Regiment and former active-duty sniper wants to help change that.
Bastian designed and implemented a 10-day sniper training course during the 33rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team's XCTC training rotation at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin, June 4 through 24. Nearly 30 Soldiers from Illinois' 33rd IBCT and Puerto Rico's 1st Battalion, 296th Infantry Regiment participated in the course.
"The course is designed to get all of the snipers from the brigade together to train, broaden their horizons and share tactics, techniques and procedures," said Bastian. "Sharing knowledge in this manner is paramount to operational success and allows them to become masters of their craft."
Bastian said that the course packs weeks of information and training into a 10-day period. He enlisted the help of two former instructors at the U.S. Army's Sniper School in Fort Benning, Georgia: Mr. Tarrol Peterson, a U.S. Army Sniper Association instructor, and Staff Sgt. John Brady, a sniper instructor at the 10th Mountain Division's Light Fighter School at Fort Drum, New York.
"I had to call in a couple of favors because of the scope of this course," said Bastian. "My two co-trainers bring a breadth of knowledge and experience that is unparalleled and gives these Soldiers an opportunity that they won't get otherwise."
Peterson said the training course is invaluable to the snipers that go through it.
"It's immensely important to train and have courses like this," said Peterson. "The Army has a multitude of systems and professionals to continually train everyone, except snipers. When these guys go back to their units, there's not a lot of personnel that can train them properly. This course will help them continue their education and properly train themselves."
Peterson said the course will teach the 33rd's snipers how to design and implement their own training, forecast ammunition, set up targets and ranges and properly train in camouflage and stalking techniques.
Brady reiterated his colleagues' opinion of the course.
"It's a necessity to have a program like this," said Brady. "It's a force multiplier getting multiple sniper teams together to train and gain the knowledge they need for success. Over this 10-day period they'll realize how much work it will take them to learn how to conduct their own training and we'll give them the knowledge they need to do so."
Brady said he's never seen a program of this scope done in the National Guard.
"On active duty we try to get different sniper teams together on the same range to share knowledge," said Brady. "Other than in competitions, I haven't seen this many snipers, active or Guard, on the same range."
Staff Sgt. Jesse Poplowski of Mundelein, Illinios, a sniper section leader with Troop C, 2nd Squadron, 106th Cavalry Regiment based in Aurora, Illinois, said the course is valuable on multiple levels.
"This course gives our new snipers, the guys who haven't been to school yet, an opportunity to learn from the best and will give them a head start when they do go to Fort Benning," said Poplawski. "It also gives the team leaders and the sniper qualified guys much needed practice and an opportunity to get ideas from an incredibly knowledgeable group of instructors."
Sgt. Robert Zatorski of Romeoville, Illinois, a sniper with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 178th Infantry Regiment based in Chicago, said he enjoyed the 10-day course.
"This was an absolutely outstanding training course," said Zatorski. "The snipers out here have gotten a lot of trigger time and time in the field to build our skills and collect data."
Zatorski said that the training that he and his team received was invaluable.
"We haven't been to sniper school yet," said Zatorski. "This is priceless training, it's going to make us that much better when we do go to sniper school."
Zatorski's teammates, Spc. Kevin Pollack of Elk Grove Village, Illinois, and Spc. Sean Jones of New Lenox, Illinois, said they'll take away valuable training exercises that they can do at no cost back at the unit and look forward to having more opportunities like this.
45th Annual Lincoln-Douglas Run

45th Annual Lincoln-Douglas Run

45th Annual Lincoln-Douglas Run, Metamora Herald

 The 45th Annual Lincoln-Douglas Run got underway promptly at 7:30 on this beautiful June morning. Great day for a run. Good luck to all the runners! Today is the last day of Old Settlers Days. Don't miss the parade at 10 this morning. If you haven't had a chance get out there ride some rides and have a funnel cake. Merilee Studios dance performance from noon to one. All you can ride wristbands for $16 from noon till five. Kids under 15 can enjoy a free craft tent and raffle from one to four. Tonight Jake Maurer will be playing on stage from seven to 10. 
 Hope we see you there!

Friday, June 23, 2017

Old Settlers Events

Old Settlers Events

Today and tomorrow at the Old Settlers Days event you can buy all you can ride bracelet to enjoy all rides for $16.00 from noon until 5:00 pm. The Joe Stamm Band will be the entertainment of the evening on the Grand Stand from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm. I know many of you are looking forward to seeing this band live and in action tonight!  The Kids Tent is from 1:00 - 4:00 - Free Crafts and Raffle (15 and under) and Barnyard Discoveries - 2:00 - 4:00 (free admission).

Tomorrow, Saturday, June 24th the 45th Annual Lincoln-Douglas Run (Organized by MTHS) will begin at 7:30 AM - 8 Mile & 3 Mile Run (walkers welcome in the 3-mile run) and at 8:00 AM - 1/2 mile kids run (12 and under). This is followed by the Old Settlers Day Parade at 10:00 am. So much to do so little time.

Don't forget the St. Mary's food and beer tents, all proceeds go back to the community. Their prices are very reasonable.

metamora herald  burger and pie

The Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 an Editorial

The Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 an Editorial

metamora herald arrested handicapped
Photo Credit Doug Mills/The New York Times United States Capitol Police officers removed protesters from outside Mitch McConnell’s office on Thursday.

Yesterday, June 22nd, the secret GOP health care bill the " The Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017", was released and I can now understand why they kept this a secret. If you are planning on ever having a baby, born with a disability, get a disability in your lifetime, become sick, or grow old at some point in your lifetime, you will be hurt by this bill. It is making huge cuts to Medicare and Medicaid, and senior citizens get charged five times more than people under 65. Now I don't know what you think about that, but in my opinion, this is outrageous.

Another outrageous event that took place yesterday, is numerous disabled people were peacefully protesting at Mitch McConnell's office asking him to not make cuts to Medicaid. A large percentage of disabled individuals depend on Medicaid for support of their medical needs. Many of these people that were there stated they rely on Medicaid to live, helps to pay for their prescriptions, oxygen tanks, and for some of them their wheelchairs. The police had to get a special van with a lift to transport the protesters away, and some of them they carried into the police vans. It was really hard to watch this scene of cruelty play out. These people were there protesting for all of us who will be affected by this monstrosity. 

 "Imagine you are a senior citizen, and you worked hard all your life, paid your bills and taxes, just to be charged extra and treated like you don't matter anymore. How about being born disabled? It is not their fault that they are blind, deaf, or handicapped. How will they all get taken care of if we do not step up and help out? This also affects our veterans, who put their own lives on the line for our freedom. 1 out of 5 people in the USA are on Medicaid, and 2 out of 3 people in nursing homes are on Medicaid. What will happen to them if this bill passes?" states a concerned citizen.

In Illinois, you all know we haven't had a budget passed for almost two years, and this has had a large impact on the medical field here. Doctors bills are not being paid, despite the fact, the federal government gives a large amount of money for this specific responsibility. Where has the money for these bills gone? More and more doctors are not accepting Medicaid any longer. Why would they? They are not being paid for their services. Hospitals are also bearing the brunt of this budget issue. Many of them will have to fire employees to make up the difference. Leaving health care in more dismay and people suffering.

We are lucky in Illinois to have two Democratic Senators, Durbin and Duckworth. They are fighting for us to keep this bill from being passed. Governor Rauner has not made any statement of support or nonsupport of this bill. He has also held our budget hostage for almost two years, because of certain amenities. The budget has been submitted with all the changes he required, but still he vetos. In the next election, there is a new name for the ballot, Daniel Biss. He is one of our state Senators in the 9th district, and he has been working on a bill to keep Illinois in accordance with the Paris Agreement.

“It’s time for Illinois to set a goal of 100 percent clean energy for our state. Just because the Trump Administration has declared it will lodge its head firmly in the sand and ignore the need for a realistic environmental policy doesn’t mean we can’t act,” Biss said. “These efforts put us on track to comply with the Paris Climate Agreement here in Illinois. I hope it serves as an example to other states as Illinois begins to chart a path to a 100 percent clean energy future.”

Biss is also against the new health care bill and has, for you to sign your name to a petition to let the federal government know you are against this bill as well. Now is a time to stand together and protect each other from this denial of health coverage. Please sign this petition and help out your fellow Americans who can not help themselves.

Sources:, , 


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Village Board Meeting June 20th, 2017

Village Board Meeting June 20th, 2017

June 20th, 2017 the Metamora Village Board Meeting took place. This meeting was full of information about monies being spent on repairs, new equipment, and a new K-9 Unit police vehicle. The brick road improvements has to be paid now, and the Farnsworth Group is looking at repairs that need to be done to Well #8. They will need more time to access the situation. A new tractor for the village needs to be purchased and the board approved a spending budget for the cost. They also approved the amendments made by the Zoning Board for the new Township Hall.

The sewer waste lagoons need to have a sand filter cleaning done. The last time was in 1996 or 1997. That is 20 years of build-up to clean up. There is an additional expense for using specialized equipment and sand. Apparently, there is only one man that is able to rent this equipment in the area and he is thinking of selling. The Village could possibly purchase this equipment. The Metamora Fields Golf Course will be seeing an increase in their water bill. The Village is allowed to raise this annually with a 3% increase, which they have not done since they opened. They need the money for a "Well Maintenance Fund" that is being done by the Farnsworth Group[mentioned above].

The board also mentioned that IDOT projects will end soon, due to the fact that they have no budget. This is causing issues all over the state of Illinois, and IDOT has stated that"with no budget 25,000 jobs could be lost when more than $2 billion in projects would be forced to stop if Springfield doesn’t pass funding." Governor Rauner has called legislators to Springfield for a 10 day Special Session to try and get a budget passed before the end of the state's fiscal year. If not done by July 1st, 2017 the results will be devasting to the state in many ways. We will be receiving the motor fuel tax money, but all other state payments will cease. This is so ridiculous. Do the jobs we elected and pay you to do, please. 

As always, the minutes of this meeting will be available after they are approved at the next meeting which is now on July 5th. Follow the link above to watch Rauner's video about the budget special session.


The Fun Begins Tonight

The Fun Begins Tonight

metamora herald carnival ride

It is finally here and ready to go!The annual Old Settlers Days event will kick off tonight with rides being open from 5:30 pm to 10:00 pm and of course, a lot of yummy carnival foods and St. Mary's beer tent. Not to mention the Opening Ceremony Grand Stand entertainment of Luke and the Drifters.
Their music consists of many of the old country favorites like Johnny Cash and George Jones, but they do throw in a mix of the newer country as well. Luke Mauer and his band grew up around this area and his last name is famous around here. Trefen Owen, Tim Rowden, and Tater are the rest of the band that was started out of Bloomington, IL and is now popular in Nashville, TN. They will play from 6:00pm til 10:00 pm.